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Arco advises on sun safety

12 September 2023

ARCO WARNS that improper protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays is on the rise due to a misconception about weather conditions.

What people don’t realise is that UV rays are not related to temperature. UV rays can pass through light cloud, loosely woven material, side windows of vehicles and bounce off reflective surfaces. 

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and one study found that approximately 86% of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to UV radiation from the sun. For those working outdoors, heightened exposure can be up to 10 times more impactful. On average, five workers a day get skin cancer and the disease is responsible for 60 worker deaths a year. With the right precautions, 90% of these deaths can be prevented.

Ensuring adequate UV protection is a key part of an employer’s PPE obligations and it is vital that the necessary precautions are in place to protect workers all year round, particularly when the daily UV levels reach three or above. Many organisations believe they are already implementing sufficient measures to combat the risk of UV exposure; however many workers do not follow protocols and lack sufficient training on the risks of working outdoors.  

Steps that employers can take to fulfil their duty of care include assessing the risks, the implementation of control measures by adopting the ‘5S Approach’ (Slip, Slop, Slap, Slide and Shade) and providing on-going training and support to educate and raise awareness of UV exposure. Applying sun cream is important and should be used alongside other protective measures. 

Nick Foort, industrial skincare specialist at Arco said, “Sun safety is often overlooked by outdoor workers where other safety concerns take precedent. But the misconception that the UK climate isn’t sunny enough to cause skin damage is false. Radiation from the suns’ UV rays is an invisible killer and it is important that employers and workers take the risk seriously to avoid developing skin cancer.”

Arco specialises is expert advice and guidance and provides downloadable information, including toolbox talks and posters, to help educate staff. The company also offers a range of SC Johnson Professional UV protection sun creams, sun safety centre board and dispensers for on-going use and compliance.

To find out more about occupational sun exposure to help prevent new skin cancer cases from arising, visit: www.arco.co.uk/expert-advice/occupational-sun-exposure

To contact Arco’s Industrial Skincare Specialist and find free, downloadable supporting materials, visit: www.arco.co.uk/expert-advice/occupational-sun-exposure/support